Limburger, that famously stinky cheese, was born in Belgium, hit it big in Bavaria and finally made it to the shores of America in the 1800s where it was first made by Swiss immigrants in Wisconsin. Today, Wisconsin is the only state still producing this wonderful, full-bodiedstinker.
What makes limburger so pungent? Cheesemakers cure the cheese in saltwater brine and wash it repeatedly to keep it moist and hospitable for bacteria they smear on the surface – Brevibacterium linens, to be exact. The result – an undeniably delicious cheese with a scent that packs a real punch.
So, go ahead and bring some Wisconsin limburger home, or share it with friends as a truly unique Wisconsin cheese gift. We assure you, this cheese is truly one of a kind, and is a must try for all cheese lovers!
Purists love limburger the old-fashioned way – smeared on a slice of rye bread with horseradish mustard and red onion. If have a sweet tooth (like many of us do), be sure to pair it with a strawberry jam – you wont be disappointed! You can try a cheese and crackers plate – as long limburger's the only cheese on a plate. If you're game to throw caution to the wind, try a limburger pizza topped with caramelized onions. And a little limburger atop a bowl of boiled, buttery potatoes will knock your socks off.
Limburger needs a hefty beverage that won't be intimidated by this famous cheese's reputation – a pint of stout, pale ale, porter, or Belgian ale are all contenders. We wouldn't really pair this cheese with wine, but if you must, grab a bottle with big personality – a cabernet sauvignon, merlot, a red zin, or grüner veltliner.
Limburger is a semi-soft, washed-rind cheese. Known for its strong personality and pungent aroma, limburger nevertheless has a mild flavor with a grassy, tangy, mushroom-like taste.
Cheesemakers smear limburger with bacteria called Brevibacterium linens and wash the rind repeatedly as the cheese ages. The bacteria helps the cheese to ripen and develop its complex flavor, and is the source of the cheese's unique aroma.
If you want to go all in on smelly cheese – Wisconsin produces a number of other full-fledge stinkers you can try. Brick cheese is a Wisconsin original – a quieter, tamer version known as the "married man's limburger." Liederkranz® has a similar texture and aroma to limburger but is distinctly robust and buttery. And then there are our blue cheeses and gorgonzola – not as stinky as some, but still deliciously and complexly aromatic.
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Where's the one place in America you can get a limburger today? Wisconsin. It's all part of our not-so-secret-mission:
To make the tastiest, most award-winning, highest quality cheese in the universe, with more varieties, styles, and flavors than anywhere else.
So far, we're doing pretty well. As a state, we produce one-quarter of all the cheese the US, and nearly half of all the artisan cheese. The 600 types of cheese we make are twice the number made by any other state. We've got the only Master Cheesemaker program in the world, except for the one in Switzerland. And we've won more awards for quality cheese than any other state or country.
Gosh, when you put it all in one paragraph like that, it sounds like we're doing way more than "pretty well". It sounds like Wisconsin just may be…wait for it…"the state of cheese."
Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?
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In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.